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I see Mud Duck made the news again. Bob was just trying to help bringing the chairs and tables
 to field day but the state police felt it wasn't safe...Those boys on the Cape Cod Canal live large...

FIELD DAY WEEKEND: Perfect- rainy, cloudy, and cold for Field Day but we don't care. We are holding the event inside our heated clubhouse with full kitchen. Let it rain......I just ordered some more coax and connectors from DavisRF. You cannot beat Steve- K1PEK for quality products and fast shipping. Call him at 978-369-1738, he can answer questions about all your rope, cable, wire needs, he knows his stuff ...

Hamfests for Beginners

Every new ham is soon introduced to a unique phenomenon called the “Hamfest”. This is short for “Amateur Radio Festival” and should be called an Amfest but you will soon see that we do all kinds of silly things starting with calling our hobby “ham radio” and ourselves “hams”.

To digress for a moment: Many people have asserted that the advent of the use of the term “ham radio” is unknown; cloaked in mists of time; or that it refers to the sending technique of old-time CW operators. I think I know why it was adopted. I think it was adopted to keep really cool people from crowding the airwaves and annoying radio operators who like to have nice conversations. You know. Sort of like contesters. By adopting just about the most unflattering name imaginable we have limited ourselves to about 800,000 hams, most of whom are inactive except on contest weekends when they are all active and tuning up on my net frequency. I mean, when was the last time you heard a 20 year old stud-muffin football player ask a cheerleader, “Do you want to come over to my house and hear some RTTY?” But that is for another time. We know we are cool. Who needs a drop dead gorgeous cheerleader? (AKA YL at 36 over 59) Well, for one, I d….ahem…


The idea behind the hamfest comes from ‘back in the day’ when people not only operated amateur radio stations; they also built the radios they used. They got together to sell and trade parts. And even with store bought radios, there was a time when a young “novice” radio operator could not really use the same radio that a general class or higher amateur could use. So there was a great market for used equipment and the need for a place to sell it. Remember this was before the internet. Or airmail not to put too fine a point on it. Hence Hamfests. And they continue to this day. You will soon learn that the average experienced ham radio operator changes radios every 37 days unless he has Collins gear in which case he only sells it to fund his retirement to Hawaii or a new airplane. (You will see Collins gear at hamfests but it is not really for sale. The guy is just showing off. He knows that nobody in his/her right mind would carry that kind of cash to a parking lot in the dead of night.)

And while we are on the subject let me clarify what I mean by ‘dead of night’. All hamfests start at 2 AM or some other ridiculous hour of the morning. Why? Because geezers can’t sleep? I don’t know. All I know is that if you are not the first person there you will not get the bargains. A word of caution. Before you look for bargains you will want to use the porta-potty. There will only be one because the club sponsoring the hamfest is too chea…that is to say, has not been assiduous in preparing for mostly older men stuffed with coffee, doughnuts and diuretics.

As you become more experienced you will come to understand that smart ‘festers’, as we sometimes call ourselves, have to buy a lot of stuff that we do not need for what may at first seem a doubtful purpose. We need stock to sell at the next hamfest. Once you understand why we need this it is not so doubtful at all. In getting this stuff we are preparing to be vendors at the next hamfest and thereby allowed to come in early! It does not matter if we sell any of it because getting in early is the whole point. This way we have time to buy all of the bargains before mere attendees are allowed inside the wire. I am not making this up. A few years ago I arrived at a hamfest, before sunup, to setup my stuff and a guy opened the hatch of my car and climbed in the back. Headlight and all! I figured it was too early in the morning for a carjacking and most carjackers do not wear headlamps and name tags but I was still startled until he asked me how much the gold D-104 was. I told him it was not gold it was rust….that is to say had the warm patina of vintage equipment and that the price tag was still on it from the last hamfest. I also mentioned to him that he needed new batteries for his headlamp which, as luck would have it, one of the commercial vendors was sure to have; right next to the flashing LED lights, tow bars, cords, cables and sirens for the ECOM folks.)

As you arrive at your first hamfest you will be purchasing your ticket for admission. This money will be used by the sponsoring radio club to support its repeater fund. (A repeater is a radio you put on top of a mountain and then bitch about maintaining because it is on top of a freaking mountain. And who wants to go up there and work on it and nobody uses it anyway except for the Tuesday night 2 meter net and most importantly it is not broken and whose bright idea was it to replace it anyway? Just because there is $76,112.00 in the repeater fund is no good reason to climb a mountain. I mean really? Sorry. I got off on a tangent. You will also buy $20.00 worth of $1.00 raffle tickets. The grand prize will be a two meter radio. The second prize will be a two meter HT. There are a variety of additional prizes which will range from a satellite book that the same poor guy tries to sell at every hamfest to a PL-259 with practically no wear at all. The important thing is that calling the ticket numbers for all of these prizes keeps the president of the club busy annoying you and me all morning. “And now everyone, check your tickets. We have a really nice, practically new, 6L6GC tube for the next lucky winner”.

That dealt with you are in. You will want to walk fast. You are looking for gems. It may seem at first that everyone there is selling used record albums, computer speakers and defunct computer games. They are. If this article serves one purpose alone it is to tell the amateur radio community once and for all that nobody wants to buy your used computer speakers or your wife’s old hair dryer. And oh by the way, labeling it a forced-air thermal circuit board dryer is fooling no one. It is a used hair dryer. Frankly, most tables look like a robot exploded in a Radio Shack store. But be not discouraged.

One thing you will quickly notice might even be a money-making opportunity for you. At the next hamfest you could make a fortune selling dust cloths and pledge-by-the-dose. A guy who once tried to shave his cat lest a cat hair gets caught in his antique straight key has somehow contrived to bring a Variac so covered in dust it looks like the hatch on a tank. (A Variac is a device used to bring old equipment “up to power” and though you will eventually buy one you will never use it. Never fear though, it is a great thing to sell at a hamfest.) So there is Mr. Variac owner, carting this stuff halfway across the state after having spent all night on EBay fanaticizing about how much it is worth but who did not have a moment to spare for hitting it with a can of air? I mean really Scarface, if you had not shaved that cat she would have dusted it for you.

So Mr. New Ham, you are there looking for three things; your fist HF rig, a power supply and an antenna. Oh yea. And the coolest looking microphone you can find. Four things. Looking to your right you see it. A great looking TS-930s. Now there is a nice first rig. Behind the table is a guy with a hat and a tag telling you his call sign and that his name is Bob. So up you go and ask how much the rig costs. Out comes a piece of paper with eBay on it showing the highest price ever paid for a TS-930S, probably by a snowbound drunk on a lonely Saturday night. Bob says, “Well, they are going on eBay for $1100.00 but I can let you have it for $700”. Of course Bob is temporarily deranged so you resolve to come back near the end of the hamfest when Bob is more concerned about taking “that giant electric thing” as his wife calls it back her laundry room than he is in beating the average on the eBay street. You buy a used coax jumper for $2.00 and move on.

Wait! Was that your number? It was. You won! A collectable 1946 call book remarkable because it has all of the current officers of the ARRL in it. Way to go. Beginners luck. You take it and your piece of coax to the car.

A great thing to buy at hamfests is an antenna and there are a bunch of them here. Buying an antenna is an act of faith. There is never an instruction book and every single one of them “worked when I took it down”. I guess you just have to go with the old adage, “any piece of aluminum is better than a hank of wire”. With the benefit of a drill and the local hardware store you can always make it look like a beam. (Beware of the guy who calls it a Yagi Uda antenna because he is a pompous a...that is to say showing off and the fact that he tells you it is missing a minor part called the “driven element - which you can get anywhere” should raise a red flag.) So always buy vertical antennas at hamfests. Two reasons. They are a real “value” and most importantly, they fit in the car.

Don’t forget the coax! I can think of no reason why you should not buy used coax at a hamfest. After all, that guy told you, “it worked fine when I replaced it”. You know that 800 watt amplifier you just bought? Not because it was on your list but who doesn’t want to go QRO? Remember how the guy selling it was honest enough to tell you that though, as a newbie, you could always “try” 100 watts for a while particularly if you mount that dipole at 200 feet, if you want to take advantage of all of the db’s of gain the amp is going to give, you need a great antenna and that means….coax. I’m sure that the old coax can easily handle 800 watts. What could possibly go wrong? Another trip to the car with your amp and 240’ of RG8 in “convenient 26 foot lengths”.

There is a FT-450 over there! That ought to drive my new-used amplifier, right? And there is a nice XYL sitting there smiling at you. Up you go and ask what it costs. She sweetly smiles and says that she does not know but that her husband has just gone to the porta-potty and he should be back in about an hour if the last two times he went are any indication. Sigh.

They just announced that the VE session is about to begin. Nobody moved.

They announced that some guy was checking QSL cards. Nobody moved.

They announce that the Ecom presentation is about to begin. Thirty six armed people in camouflage move.

You walk by the ARRL booth and sign up because they are giving out band charts and you will get a nametag with your call sign on it in the mail.

Moving on. Back by Bob’s table and the 930 is still there. It is almost closing time and you are encouraged to see that he has used his eBay printout as a coaster so you hit him with the line you have heard others use all day. “Bob. I wouldn’t blame you if you said no, but I bought this amplifier, this coax and these four microphones, and I only have $380.00 left. Can you let it go for that? He says yes, he can let you have it and offers to carry it to your car for you. He throws in a coax switch, something called a “low pass filter” which you will find out doesn’t really do anything but looks really cool and the 6L6GC tube Bob just won.

And there you have it. You have finished your first hamfest! You have a new radio, an amplifier, 4 microphones, some coax, a switch, a vertical antenna, a low pass filter, a highly collectable book, a band chart, the promise of an official name tag and a 6L6GC to start your tube collection. You are on the air! You will be home by 8 AM! On the way out you snag a Variac. The guy cut the price in half and threw in a nice pair of computer speakers.

Copyright Rick McCallum

Amateur radios crackle to life

The Truro Daily reports Bruce Harvey VE1II was just 15 or 16 when he heard a surprising sound on the radio he received for Christmas

It was the voice of an old man who lived on his street. Later, Harvey’s father took him to see his neighbour’s amateur radio set – and from then on he was hooked.

Decades later, Harvey is overseeing the Truro Amateur Radio Club as it partakes in the American Radio Relay League/Radio Amateurs of Canada competition being held across the continent on Saturday and Sunday.

The ARRL/RAC competition will judge operators according to how many other clubs they can talk to, using either voice messages or Morse code over 24 hours. Clubs will also be graded on how many watts their radio transmitters use.

The TARC will be competing against clubs in Canada, the United States and for the first time, others in Mexico and some Caribbean islands.

The TARC uses high, very high and ultra-high frequency radios for communicating with other operators in Nova Scotia, Atlantic Canada and across North America. TARC is licensed by Industry Canada and the club owns the equipment it uses.

During disasters, amateur radio operators offer steady communications when normal telephone and other infrastructure is offline.

In more normal times, amateur radio operators can also beam messages up to relay satellites in orbit when talking to clubs across the world. One club in Prince Edward Island even talked with astronauts on the International Space Station, but the TARC has not yet attempted this.

Read the full story at

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2121 for Friday, June 22, 2018....rehash of last weeks news


NEIL/ANCHOR: We begin this week with an update on the Ducie Island DXpedition which sets off in late October. Excitement is building - and progress is too. For that update we turn to Jason Daniels VK2LAW.

JASON: The Ducie Island DXpedition team continues to gather momentum toward its operations as VP6D on October 20th through November 3rd.

The newest member of the pilot team is 15-year-old Mason Matrazzo KM4SII, who made his debut DXPedition last year at age 14 operating from Iceland. He is heading to Curacao next month as PJ2/KM4SII. The DXpedition team has been making the rounds, attending at Dayton Hamvention and the International DX Convention in Visalia (Viz-AIL-yah) California in the U.S. and Friedrichshafen (FREED RICK'S Harfen) in Germany to talk up the trip and meet with corporate sponsors.

They also continue with their fundraising to help defray personal expenses of the team members themselves. For more information about this much-awaited South Pacific DXpedition or to help support it visit vp6d.com


NEIL/ANCHOR: Remember your first Field Day? Whether it was long ago - or just last year - one group of hams in California is hoping you'll make this year's Field Day memorable for some young first-timers. Don Wilbanks AE5DW tells us more.

DON: Field Day has been in everyone's sights for quite some time now -- but for one group of youngsters in California, it marks their long-awaited first Field Day and a first opportunity to operate on HF. Members of Scout Troop 44 and Cub Scout Pack 458 are operating side by side with the San Mateo Amateur Radio Club using the club call sign W6UQ. In addition they will be running their own small-scale Field Day operation as KZ6BSA. Donn Lovell K8DLL, whose son 14-year-old Connor K7CBL, will be among those radio Scouts, said that the youngsters will have their own miniature Field Day with simplex contacts on 2 meters and 70 cm. He also said they will get some practice air time, just for fun, using FRS/GMRS radios and later, repeaters. Donn told Newsline the Scouts' hope that even with all the QRN and pileups that are sure be happening, hams will be listening for those squeaky little voices out there calling "CQ Field Day."

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Don Wilbanks AE5DW.


NEIL/ANCHOR: Calling all sports fans! Er....we mean radio contesting fans. If you're following the final weeks until the World Radiosport Team Championship, our good sport Ed Durrant DD5LP is here to help you make sense of it.

ED: They're all preparing, they’re all training, now they're all packing!
From all parts of the world, the contestants for WRTC 2018 in Germany are getting ready to come to Wittenberg for the Amateur Radio World Cup!

It's been a hard-fought effort over the last few years to qualify by being at the top of major contest tables but now it's less than 4 weeks until they can "prove their metal" competing against the best in the world on a level playing field.

Amateur radio again shows no respect for politics with two-person teams not only from single countries but across countries who were at one time enemies. Russians working alongside Americans, parts of the old Yugoslavia working together on the radio, old feelings lost in the magic of radio competition.

There are young and old and some in between. From New Zealand there is a father-and-daughter team, there's three youth teams including one with a U.S. and a Chilean ham, one with a Ukrainian and Romanian ham and one with a Hungarian and a German ham. Of course, there are the well-known "old hands" taking part as well.

Unfortunately, this time no contestants qualified from the UK or Australia. Perhaps they'll have to make do with winning the Soccer World Cup final which takes place on the same day as the WRTC!

For a full list of contestants and their biographies go to WRTC2018 (dot) DE and click on "competition" followed by "participants."
One thing is for sure, no matter who wins on July 15th, all competitors, helpers and visitors are looking forward to having a great time together, no matter what else is happening in the world!

STOP PRESS - this just in: Using two 300 Kilowatt transmitters from Europe Radio DARC will broadcast just before the start of the competition, a WRTC special program across Europe on 6,070 kHz and to North America on 13,860 kHz on Saturday the 14th at 1100 UTC for an hour.


NEIL/ANCHOR: CW enthusiasts are no stranger to the name Jack Curtis or his eponymous Curtis Morse Keyer Chip. The man who gave hams a new way to key Morse Code has become a Silent Key. Here's Andy Morrison K9AWM with more.

ANDY: The radio amateur who revolutionized CW keyers with the use of an IC chip has become a Silent Key. Jack Curtis K6KU - formerly W3NSJ - was the father of the Curtis Morse Keyer chip, reshaping the way keying could be done with the use of memory. His first chip, known as the 8043, was released in 1973 followed by a series of others, ending with a 20-pin chip in 1986. The 20-pin chip incorporated A or B iambic modes and output for a speed meter.

His chips found their way from commercial keyers into commercial amateur rigs and were popular in homebrew projects as well. The Pennsylvania native, an electrical engineer, worked for Sperry Rand and later Corning Glass, after serving in the Navy. His side business, Curtis Electro Devices, was founded to market his Morse Code iambic keyer and later provided memory chips for the emerging cellular industry. The company closed in 2000.


NEIL/ANCHOR: What if someone held a disaster drill and nobody came? Well it didn't happen that way exactly in India recently, but the turnout among amateurs turned out to be a challenge. Here's Jeremy Boot G4NJH with details.

JEREMY: A mock disaster drill held in Uttar Pradesh, India by the National Disaster Management Authority turned out to have one challenge that was real: finding amateur radio operators. The exercise in Lucknow focused on the state's 23 flood-prone districts. It relied on the readiness of of the state police, along with the National Disaster Response Force. On the website of the Amateur Radio Club of Lucknow, Pandit VU2DCT wrote that he turned out to be the sole amateur taking part in the exercise. It appears that no hams reside in any of the districts where the drill was scheduled.

Pandit, who is secretary of the ham radio club, wrote that he was able to provide his fellow participants with an oral presentation on amateur radio. He posted a hopeful observation too that most of the dignitaries present at the day's exercise showed an interest in what ham radio can do.


NEIL/ANCHOR: In the U.S., the question pool is changing for the Technician Class license exam as of July 1st. Every three years the questions are changed, modified, and brought up to date by the National Conference of Volunteer Exam Coordinators. So as of July 1, you can consider all the old license test preparation materials like manuals, online practice tests, Power Point presentations and such to be outdated. Approximately 60 of the Technician license questions were replaced. Most of the questions focus on the same concepts but wording changes will bring the material up to date. If you are part of a Volunteer Exam team, you must use the new exams starting on July 1st. So VEs, be sure to change out those tests. And if you’re studying with old books, be aware that some of those questions will change while the topics, for the most part, won’t. If you’ve been studying with the old books, June 30 is your last chance to take the test before the big change.


NEIL/ANCHOR: Now here's an awards program that will have you wishing for an endless summer. Mike Askins KE5CXP is our man on the beach for this story.

MIKE: While some people bring suntan lotion and a surfboard - or maybe just a good book -- to the beach, others wouldn't be seen on the shore without their rig and an antenna. Because a beach day can also be a ham radio day, the program known as Beaches on the Air is encouraging hams to operate portable and qualify for awards as activators. Chasers - the hams who contact them - can also compete for honors.

The idea took root in a conversation in 2013 between Diego EC1CW and his friend Ernesto EA1LQ, a fellow ham and SOTA activator. Diego told Newsline that the awards scheme really took off sometime after December of 2015 when he chose the windy Atlantic coastline of the Spanish beach at Riazor (ree-ah-Zore) for the first activations. Beaches on the Air was on the map at last. International users now call CQ from the shore in Greece, Bulgaria, Spain, Croatia, Portugal, the UK and elsewhere around the world.

In fact, just a few weeks after Diego's first activations, Vlado, Z35M, an amateur in Macedonia, requested that the program include the beaches there. A ham for nearly 35 years, Vlado is a big proponent of portable operations and a frequent activator. BOTA covers not only sea-side beaches but also those on inland lakes and rivers. A full list of the approved sites and the awards that can be earned is at beachesontheair.com.

So with summer arriving in some parts of the world, be listening as hams on the beach catch a wave - a radio wave, that is.


NEIL/ANCHOR: Some school kids in Australia are getting ready to have a summer of solder and circuit boards. Robert Broomhead VK3DN has more on these special summer workshops.

ROBERT: What do crickets, frogs and grasshoppers have to do with ham radio? Everything, if you ask the organizers of the School Holiday Electronics Workshops being offered for school kids in July. The Bendigo Amateur Radio and Electronics Club has organized the workshops in Castlemaine to help grow the next generation of engineers and, of course, radio amateurs as well. In sessions geared to beginners age 7 and older, students will learn the basics of electrical circuitry and get to build a solar-powered grasshopper of their own. The workshop for students 10 and older will teach the basics of soldering. Those students will get a homebrew cricket or frog. The club is also planning a third workshop for returning students who already have been through the basics in previous workshops. For information about fees and schedule, contact the club via email at secretary at barec dot net dot au (secretary@barec.net.au)


In the world of DX, you can work Haru JA1XGI operating as H44XG from Honiara in the Solomon Islands through the 27th of June. He will be on 40 – 10m mainly on CW, with perhaps some FT8.

Bodo DF8DX is operating from Taiwan from June 24th to the 30th. He will be using the BW/DF8DX call sign on the HF bands. QSLs go via his home call. He will upload logs to Logbook of The World.

Be listening for the call sign TM65EU being used by three French amateurs on the air from three islands off the French coast. They can be heard on June 22nd and June 23rd. Their QSL manager is F4ELK.

You have a chance to work Antonio, EA5RM, operating as CP1XRM from Bolivia until July 10th. He is in Bolivia as an NGO volunteer but is on the air during his free time on 40-10 meters using SSB and the Digital modes. He may also be on 60 meters. QSL via EA5RM.


NEIL/ANCHOR: We end this week with a story about radio waves that truly know no bounds - not even inside the walls of a high-security prison. From Australia, here's Graham Kemp VK4BB.

GRAHAM: There's something to be said for the power of radio, even if in this case it's not amateur radio - and even if, in this case, it's radio produced inside a remote high-security prison.

The inmates here call their service the West Kimberley Regional Prison Radio Hour - or WKRP. No, not *that* WKRP, the name of the radio station in that wildly popular American TV series of some years ago based in Cincinnati. This is radio programming that gives details on prison happenings. When it was launched last year it was envisaged as a bulletin service of sorts for simple updates but now the program is heard outside the Western Australian prison's prison walls on community stations. If you've ever had "mic fright" as a ham, you have something in common with the inmates here who received expert coaching from Rebekah O'Meara and encouragement from producer Brad Spring of Derby Aboriginal Media Corporation.

Now the hourlong weekly show is heard through the National Indigenous Radio Service. The audience isn't a captive one but the program's announcers are, at least until their time served is over.

Hams can relate, no? There's nothing better than getting the word out - no matter what walls you may be behind - and knowing others really hear you.

FRIDAY EDITION: My truck took ill yesterday coming home from the beach, Chevy Tough. Just 50K miles. Hot  indicator on display, AC shuts off and blower goes on full speed...safety protection for the motor is automatic...no temperature on coolant gauge...WTF. Drove it to the shop and hope to get it back today as Field Day is tomorrow and I need it, a little bump in the road in the game of life....Bored? make a 2 meter beam from a tape measure....or maybe an rf finding robot....I got a Fitbit wrist monitor a few years ago what told you how many steps per day you walked, a fitness gadget. You had to wear it on your wrist, charge it every night, and read the results on your computer after syncing it. So yesterday I realized I had an app on my phone called "Health", I opened it up and I find out it measures how many steps, miles, and flight of  stairs I do in day and keeps it in memory. You live and learn, anyone want a Fitbit cheap?....


The IC-R30 is Icom's latest wideband handheld receiver. Not only does it receive over a wide (0.1 to 3304.999 MHz) frequency range in AM, FM, WFM, USB, LSB and CW, but it can also decode digital modes including P25, NXDN, dPMR, D-STAR and Japanese domestic DCR.

With this much capability going on you could feel that you could get swamped by the potential number of signals you could receive. However, the IC-R30 has been designed to make scanning effortless and intuitive. A 2.3-inch large, dot-matrix display is incorporated allowing for large amounts of information to be clearly and logically arranged. The four-direction keypad provides straight-forward operation of all functions. The IC-R30 features high-speed scanning of 200 channels per second as well as various other scanning features.

The IC-R30 enables you to monitor two different bands (such as HF & UHF signals) simultaneously via the Dualwatch Operation. The IC-R30 also allows you to record the individual audio of two bands received while in the Dualwatch mode onto a microSD card in WAV format by utilizing the Dual Band Recording Function.


THURSDAY EDITION: Another gorgeous day on the island, more work on the boat today. The Honda outboard started right up yesterday and may see seawater by this weekend....Self driving automobiles approved in Boston for transit, what could go wrong?....

Two Stage Telegraph and Telephone Transmitter

Modeled loosely after the commercially built 1920’s Aero Transmitter.

One of my antique radio friends built this transmitter some years back, a very true and authentic reproduction.

I admired it at the time, not sure I ever worked him with it, but remembered it fondly.

Jon, the builder, kindly entrusted it to me as the caretaker, and looks like, given the weekend weather, I’ve finally got time to get it unpacked, tested, fired up, and on the air. Long, cold winter nights in Maine are ideal for radio.

Even if you’re not an antique radio fan, you’ve just have to love the time and skill that went into building this rig.

The wood, panel work, winding the coils out of copper tubing, the straight and true lines of the bus wiring, entirely handmade, it’s a work of art.
It is crystal controlled, you can see the xtal on the right of the upper deck.
The upper desk is the RF section, and the lower deck the power supply and modulator.

Will be paired up with either the National SW-3 or the National NC-101X I restored last fall.

I’ll post more as I get it on the air and operating!

– Bruce W1UJR

Broadcaster to Transmit Field Day Greetings in MFSK64

A 100 kW HF broadcast transmitter in Nauen, Germany, will send Field Day greetings to North American radio amateurs in MFSK64 mode during the weekly “Giant Jukebox” broadcast of The Mighty KBC on 9,925 kHz, June 24, 0000 – 0200 UTC. The MFSK64, centered on 1,500 Hz, will begin at about 0130 UTC. An RSID will be transmitted just before the transmission to guide decoding software to the correct mode and audio frequency.

ARES® Continues Move Toward Enhanced Training, Paperless Reporting

As part of upgrades to the ARES® program, ARRL will phase out traditional hard-copy report forms later this year in favor of an online system, ARES® Connecta new volunteer management, communication, and reporting system. The system, in beta testing since March in four ARRL sections with large ARES organizations, will allow ARES members to log information for ARRL Field Organization handling but does not change how ARES serves partner organizations. ARES training also is due for enhancement.

At the Hamvention®ARRL Membership Forum in May, Great Lakes Division Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK, who chairs the ARRL Public Service Enhancement Working Group, discussed dramatic changes occurring among agencies in the emergency/disaster response sector and the transition to ARES Connect. In his presentation, “ARES Advances into the 21st Century — a New Program, a New Mission,” Williams outlined the vision for an ARES comprised of organized, trained, qualified, and credentialed Amateur Radio operators who can provide public service partners with radio communication expertise, capability, and capacity.

Goals include aligning the ARES organizational structure with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS). Emergency Coordinators (ECs) will continue to lead local ARES teams during an incident, with support from District and Section Emergency Coordinators.

Changes would encompass additional mandatory training to include ARRL Emergency Communications courses and the now-standard FEMA NIMS/ICS courses IS-100, 200, 700, 800, with IS-300 and 400 for higher levels. Other specialty training could include SKYWARN and agency-specific programs.

Training levels attained would dovetail with three new levels of ARES participation: Level One would be comprised of all entering the program with no training, while progressing through the ARRL emergency communications training and the FEMA Independent Study courses 100, 200, 700, and 800. Level Two would be attained upon successful completion of these courses, and would be considered the “Standard” level for ARES participants. Level Three would be attained upon completion of the advanced FEMA courses IS 300 and 400, which would qualify candidates for ARES leadership positions.

Level One participants would be able to fulfill most ARES duties, with a target of attaining Level Two in 1 year. Level Two, the standard participant level, would permit participant access to most incident sites and emergency operations centers (EOCs). Level Three would convey full access as granted by the authority having jurisdiction, plus qualification for ARES leadership.

It’s been proposed that ARRL provide a basic ARES ID, which would convey recognition of registration with ARES nationally and indicate level of training but convey no guarantee of site access. The authority having jurisdiction in an incident could grant an additional ID/pass for site access.

The ARRL Headquarters staff is undergoing training in ARES Connect administration, with group registration under way and IDs assigned. ARES-related publications also are being updated, along with an ARES strategic plan and introductory announcement. An article on ARES enhancements — once they have been approved by the ARRL Board of Directors — is set to appear in the September 2018 issue of QST. — Thanks to Rick Palm, K1CE/ARES E-Letter

WEDNESDAY EDITION: Another ringer, beautiful weather....MA is offering a third gender option on your shiny new drivers license, isn't that swell.....

DXpedition Team Set to Depart for Baker Island, Ducie Island Preparations on Target

Two major DXpeditions are on track to make many DXers happy campers this year. Just ahead is the KH1/KH7Z Baker Island DXpedition, which commemorates the 81st anniversary of aviator Amelia Earhart’s disappearance on July 2, 1937, near Baker and Howland islands, as well as “the commitment and sacrifices” of the Hui Panalā’au (loosely translates to “society of colonists”) — young high school graduates from Hawaii who were taken to colonize Baker, Howland, and Jarvis islands from 1935 until 1942, and who began construction of a runway for Earhart to land in 1937. The islands were bombed the day after Pearl Harbor, killing two, and the colonists were removed by the US Coast Guard in 1942.

The team’s enthusiasm level was reported to be high, as the KH1/KH7Z Baker Island team prepared to depart Pago Pago, American Samoa, on June 20 aboard the Nai’a, en route to Baker Island. The DXpedition is scheduled to fire up around 0000 UTC on June 28, with eight operating positions active on all open bands. The team will be on the air around the clock — and on 20 meters continuously — for the following 10 days. The KH1/KH7Z team consists of 14 operators.

“But any plan is only good until you meet the enemy in the field of battle,” the Baker Island DXpedition team said in a news release. “We plan on listening to our pilots. Please tell them if we are missing an opening or opportunity. We can and will adjust to the propagation.” Baker Island is the fifth Most-Wanted DXCC entity, according to Club Log.

As reported, KH1/KH7X will employ FT8 digital mode to find openings that might not be obvious and to serve as a beacon. “When we find an opening, we will put as many radios/modes/ops on as we can,” the team said.

The KH1/KH7X group helped to develop the WSJT-X software version that incorporates an FT8 DXpedition Mode (version 1.9.0). The DXpedition said using FT8 DXpedition mode may allow the operators to “expand” the bands they are able to use at this point in the solar cycle. The DXpedition’s band plan page includes a guide to using FT8 DXpedition Mode. The Dateline DX Association (DDXA) is sponsoring the DXpedition to Baker Island. The Pacific Islands Refuges and Monuments Office of the US Fish and Wildlife Service granted the DDXA permission to land and operate on the uninhabited island.

Ducie Island (VP6D)

Meanwhile, the VP6D Ducie Island DXpedition reports that its preparations remain on schedule for its October 20 – November 3 operation. The DXpedition has announced that 15-year-old Mason Matrazzo, KM4SII, of Clemmons, South Carolina, will join the VP6D Pilot Team. In 2017, he operated from Iceland as TF/KM4SII, and in July 2018, he will operate from Curacao as PJ2/KM4SII. Mason will work with North America and Chief Pilot Glenn Petri, KE4KY.

The Braveheart, owned by Nigel Jolly, K6NRJ, will transport the 14-member Ducie Island team to its South Pacific destination in September, sailing from Mangareva, French Polynesia. The Perseverance DX Group (PDXG) is sponsoring the VP6D DXpedition. Ducie Island is the 26th Most-Wanted DXCC entity, according to Club Log.

ARISS-Russia FM transmissions from Space Station

On June 20 and 21, the Tanusha satellites will be connected to an antenna on the ISS Russian Service Module and transmit voice messages on 437.050 MHz FM with 145.800 MHz FM relay

ARISS-Russia, in collaboration with the Southwest State University in Kursk, Russia, are developing a series of educational CubeSat satellites called Tanusha.

Two Tanusha CubeSats were developed by students at Southwest State University and were hand-deployed by cosmonauts during an August 2017 extravehicular activity. These two CubeSats are performing cluster flight experiments through communications links.

A second set of CubeSats, Tanusha 3 & 4 were launched earlier this year and are currently on-board ISS. Tanusha 3 & 4 are planned to be hand deployed by Cosmonauts in August.  They will perform even more comprehensive cluster flight objectives than Tanusha 1 & 2.

On June 20, Tanusha 3 will be connected to one of the ARISS Service Module antennas and will transmit from 0730-1200 UTC on 437.05 MHz. These FM transmissions will include greetings from students in several languages, including Russian, English, Spanish and Chinese.

On June 21, Tanusha 4 will be connected to one of the ARISS Service Module antennas and will transmit from 0730-1200 UTC on the same frequency:  437.050 MHz. 

The ARISS-Russia team plan to also retransmit these signals on the standard ARISS 2-meter downlink, 145.80 MHz using the JVC Kenwood D700 radio that is still on-board ISS.  All are invited to listen to the CubeSats from ISS on 437.050 and/or 145.800 MHz FM.

Note: the Doppler shift for the 437.050 MHz signal will be +/-10 kHz.


FCC Marks 84th Anniversary

The Federal Communications Commission turned 84 years old on June 19, the FCC tweeted. The FCC came into being in 1934 as an independent agency of the federal government when Congress passed the Communications Act of 1934, abolishing the Federal Radio Commission (FRC) — created in 1912 after the Titanic disaster — and transferring jurisdiction over radio licensing — including Amateur Radio licensing — to the new FCC.

According to its website, the FCC “regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and US territories,” and it implements and enforces US communications law and regulations. The FCC is composed of five commissioners appointed by the president, who must undergo confirmation by the US Senate. The president designates one member as the FCC chairman. — Thanks to Bob Weinstock, W3RQ

QTH.NET ANNOUNCEMENT - Field Day... Way back. Field day was a weekend originally set up as a emergency test of basic bare bones communications from areas not usually used as a home base or home AC powered radios. In recent years this has changed to who can use the biggest amps.. towers.. beams.. etc. that would not be able to be used in a actual emergency situation. And nothing but another useless contest for "points" that really mean nothing but a brag for numbers. The ones who actually DO as was intended by battery power.. minimal antennas.. basic reliable radios are the ones who do the actual reasons for the weekend we hold every year.. And are hard to hear with all the splatter and interference.

And NO you can't blame it on "techs". Because it's rare for a person with a tech license to have a huge amp and a tower with a large beam.. Or a radio costing several thousand dollars. Techs don't have those type setups. Takes years to acquire. So BKAME the ones should be..

73 Listing #1388811 - Submitted on 06/18/18 by Callsign KC5BBP

TUESDAY EDITION: Another great day on Cape Ann, sunny and 80. I am going to make an attempt at repairing the gas gauge on the boat today, boat is going on the mooring this week....

Ed- W1VAK....looks like he is ready to unload on someone...

Use of shortwave radio by financial markets

Bloomberg reports that financial market traders are using a super-charged version of techniques dear to amateur radio operators worldwide

On a 58-acre field that grew corn last year, two towers rising about 170 feet support a military-grade antenna shaped like a giant spider’s web. The array is pointed toward market centers in New York, London and Frankfurt. A third pole, topped with a single round microwave dish, is aimed at a data center 16 miles away that powers one of the world’s largest trading hubs: the futures exchanges run by CME Group Inc.

But public records point to a probable explanation: Traders appear to be testing the idea of using shortwave technology to convey data between the CME facility and key exchanges around the globe -- a few millionths of a second faster than rivals. That can be the difference between winning and losing in high-frequency markets, where the ferocious battle for being first continues to escalate.

The secret project in Maple Park, Illinois, was discovered -- appropriately enough -- by a ham-radio enthusiast, Bob Van Valzah KE9YQ. It remains shrouded in mystery. Even county officials and neighbors are unclear about its purpose.

Read the full story at 

Assigning Kosovo Z6 call signs 'Unauthorized and Illegal'

ARRL reports Kosovo, which won its battle to become a DXCC entity earlier this year, appears to have another fight on its hands

International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Secretary-General Houlin Zhao has determined that the Z6 call sign prefix was never allocated to Kosovo.

The Secretary-General issued his finding in the wake of a March 16 inquiry from Serbia, from which Kosovo declared independence 10 years ago, the last piece of the former Yugoslavia to do so. Serbia has continued to reject Kosovo’s secession.

“ITU has not allocated call sign series Z6 to any of its member states,” Houlin Zhou said. “Consequently, the utilization of call signs series Z6 by any entity without a formal allocation and consent of the ITU represents an unauthorized and illegal usage of this international numbering resource.”

The Secretary-General’s statement was reported in ITU Operational Bulletin No. 1149. He cited Article 19 of the Radio Regulations, which states that the management of international series of call signs is an ITU prerogative. “Call sign series can be allocated only to the administrations of the ITU member states by World Radiocommunication Conferences or, between conferences, by the ITU Secretary-General,” asserted Houlin Zhou, who gave no indication that he would do so.

Kosovo joins a short list of DXCC entities where radio amateurs use “unofficial” call sign prefixes. The list also includes Western Sahara (S0) and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (1A).

Earlier this year, in Mission Goodwill Kosovo, the IARU member-society SHRAK’s headquarters station Z60A mounted a massive special event operation to celebrate Kosovo’s addition to the DXCC List, as well as its 10th anniversary of independence.

Read the full ARRL story at

Mike- N1XW with YL test driving a trike...$38K

New England Hams you might run across 75 meters.........

K1TP- Jon....Editor of As The World Turns....
W1GEK- Big Mike....Nearfest Cook, big motor home, electronics software engineer ...
AA1SB- Neil...Living large traveling the country with his girlfriend...loves CW
N1YX- Igor....peddles quality Russian keys, software engineer
K1BGH...Art.....Restores cars and radio gear, nice fella...
N1XW.....Mike-easy going, Harley riding kind of guy!
K1JEK-Joe...Easy going, can be found at most ham flea market ...Cobra Antenna builder..
KA1GJU- Kriss- Tower climbing pilot who cooks on the side at Hosstrader's...
W1GWU-Bob....one of the Hosstrader's original organizers, 75 meter regular, Tech Wizard!!!
K1PV- Roger....75 meter regular, easy going guy...
W1XER...Scott....easy going guy, loves to split cordwood and hunt...
WS1D- Warren- "Windy" - Bullnet
KB1VX- Barry- the picture says it all, he loves food!
KC1BBU- Bob....the Mud Duck from the Cape Cod Canal, making a lot of noise.
W1STS- Scott...philosopher, hat
KB1JXU- Matthew...75 meter regular...our token liberal Democrat out of VT

KA1BXB-Don....75 meter Regular......residing on the Cape of Cod, flying planes and playing radio
KMIG-Rick....75 Meter Regular....teaches the future of mankind, it's scary!
K1PEK-Steve..Founder of Davis-RF....my best friend from high school 

K9AEN-John...Easy going ham found at all the ham fests
K1BXI- John.........Dr. Linux....fine amateur radio op ....wealth of experience...
K1BQT.....Rick....very talented ham, loves his politics, has designed gear for MFJ...
W1KQ- Jim-  Retired
Air Force Controller...told quite a few pilots where to go!
N1OOL-Jeff- The 3936 master plumber and ragchewer...
K1BRS-Bruce- Computer Tech of 3936...multi talented kidney stone passing ham...
K1BGH- Arthur, Cape Cod, construction company/ice cream shop, hard working man....
W1VAK- Ed, Cape Cod, lots of experience in all areas, once was a Jacques Cousteus body guard....
KD1ZY- Warren....3910 regular with WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDE signal
N1YSU- Bob,  easy going, kind of like Mr. Rogers until politics are brought up then watch out...
K1BNH- Bill- Used to work for a bottled gas company-we think he has been around nitrous oxide to long .

Silent KeyVA2GJB- Graham...one of the good 14313 guys back in the day.
Silent Key K1BHV- David...PITA
W1JSH- Mort...Air Force man
Silent Key K1MAN--Glen....PITA
Silent KeyKB1CJG-"Cobby"- Low key gent can be found on many of the 75 meter nets.........
Silent KeyWB1AAZ- Mike, Antrim, NH, auto parts truck driver-retired

Silent KeyWB1DVD- Gil....Gilly..Gilmore.....easy going, computer parts selling, New England Ham..
Silent Key W1OKQ- Jack....3936 Wheeling and Dealing......keeping the boys on there toes....
Silent Key W1TCS- Terry....75 meter regular, wealth of electronic knowledge...
Silent Key WIPNR- Mack....DXCC Master, worked them all!.. 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key
WILIM- Hu....SK at 92... 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key N1SIE- Dave....Loves to fly
Silent Key:
N1WBD- Big Bob- Tallest ham, at 6'10", of the 3864 group
Silent Key: W1FSK-Steve....Navy Pilot, HRO Salesman, has owned every radio ever built!
Silent Key: W4NTI-Vietnam Dan....far from easy going cw and ssb op on 14275/313
Silent Key:K1FUB-Bill- Loved ham radio....